Arrowhead Research Corporation (NASDAQ: ARWR), a nanomedicine company with development programs in RNA therapeutics and obesity, announced today that it has released a white paper describing the health problem posed by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the substantial unmet need for chronic HBV infected patients, and how Arrowhead’s Dynamic Polyconjugate (DPC) enabled RNAi therapeutic in development could potentially address deficiencies of current treatment options.
“Hepatitis B is a global health problem without effective treatment for a vast number of patients with chronic disease. The World Health Organization estimates that 360 million people, or 5% of the world’s population, suffer from chronic hepatitis B,” said Christopher Anzalone, Ph.D., President and CEO of Arrowhead. “Advances in hepatitis C treatment have drawn considerable attention over the last year, and we see HBV as a similarly high value target. Extensive data from our development programs across multiple in vitro and animal models suggest that we can leverage RNAi and our DPCs to produce a powerful and highly specific candidate to fight HBV.”
HBV infection occurs primarily in hepatocytes and long-term infection causes hepatic inflammation that leads to acute and chronic hepatic dysfunction including acute hepatic failure, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. The DPC delivery platform is being employed for the HBV product candidate, which is supported by multiple studies including demonstration in non-human primates of safe and effective delivery of siRNA to hepatocytes and promising data generated through mouse models of HBV using a DPC formulation.
“The development of a DPC-enabled HBV candidate began under Roche and we are very pleased with the progress that our scientists have made,” said David Lewis, Ph.D., Vice President of Biology and the site head at Arrowhead’s research and development facility in Madison, WI. “We are excited to provide more detail on the DPC platform and the HBV program during upcoming scientific conferences and through future publication in peer-reviewed journals.”